Lt. Gov. Nungesser Awarded Governmental Tourism Leadership Award By Southeast Tourism Society
(L to R) Staff members of the St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission Christina Cooper, Zondra Jones and Yolanda Paz; President and CEO of the St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission Donna O’Daniels; Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser, Vice Chair of the St. Tammany Parish TCT Board Sharon Drucker; and Chair of the Board of St. Tammany Parish TCT and St. Tammany Parish Councilman Thomas J. Smith, Jr.
BATON ROUGE—The Southeast Tourism Society (STS) awarded Lieutenant Governor Billy Nungesser with the Governmental Tourism Leadership Award at their annual Shining Example Award Banquet during the Connections Conference in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. This award is given to an elected official upon the nomination of one of the industry partners in his or her state.
“This award would not be possible without the help of the tourism partners in the state along with the people of Louisiana as they all promote our state to the nation as a place you don’t want to miss,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. “Their hard work and dedication are what help me to work even harder to promote Louisiana. I always say I have the best job in state government, and I am honored to receive this award and to work alongside our partners every day.”
Since being sworn into office in January 2016, Lt. Governor Nungesser has continued to travel around every part of the state seeking input from industry leaders and stakeholders. In addition, he has taken many ideas from these same groups and implemented them into his initiatives in the Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism. He has also been instrumental in advocacy efforts at the local and state levels for tourism and promotion of our communities.
Donna O’Daniels, President and CEO of the St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission, praised Lt. Governor Nungesser for his dedication to her organization. “Here in St. Tammany, we lost a funding battle with our newly elected parish president in 2012, which ultimately resulted in a loss of nearly one-third of our budget – close to $800,000. The parish president began a new quest to reallocate tourism funding in 2016. This led us to a very strategic and well-coordinated advocacy campaign to educate our local elected officials on the importance of tourism and why redirecting funding, again, would be a mistake. Without Billy’s extremely vocal defense of our CVB, I am sure that our advocacy message would not have carried as much weight, and it would have been difficult, if not impossible to avoid another budget loss, which would have crippled our organization.”
In addition to Lt. Governor Nungesser, Louisiana had three other award winners at the STS conference. Shelley Johnson with the Lake Charles/Southwest Louisiana CVB received the Beacon Award; Natchitoches Christmas was among the Top 20 Festivals of the Year; and the St. Tammany Parish Tourist and Convention Commission was the Tourism Office of the Year with a budget over $2 million.